Friday, February 19, 2016

Bluebird Nestbox Program

One of the biggest reasons I got into the golf business is to work outside and enjoy nature.  I firmly believe golf courses are an integral part of the environment and are often the only place where wildlife can live as communities continue to grow.  As the golf course superintendent at Bailey Ranch Golf Club, I have a direct impact on our facilities environmental footprint, and I take that responsibility very seriously.  There are numerous ways we, as a facility, work towards environmental stewardship such as: water conservation, soil testing, scouting for disease and pests, reducing maintained acreage, grass buffers along pond banks to improve water quality and encouraging wildlife habitat.

Wildlife habitat is one of the best ways a golf course can benefit the environment.  With this in mind, one of my big initiatives last year was to begin a bluebird nest box program.  With the help of the Oklahoma Bluebird Society and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, we constructed and placed 12 nest boxes throughout the golf course.  We then monitored the boxes throughout the year so we could track any progress.  At the end of year, we submitted our results to Oklahoma Department of Wildlife for their Bluebird Nest Box Survey.  We just got their final report and it seems that Bailey Ranch Golf Club was the only entity, public or private, that reported any results in Tulsa County.  Although we only had three nests and 24 fledglings, I'm pleased with the progress we made in our first season. As the program continues to grow, our goal is to have nests in every box each season, and eventually expand the program into other areas throughout the property.

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